Monday, August 21, 2006

Stories I Wrote to Girls Who Never Wrote Back III: Ed Harris Won't Leave Me Alone

I awoke in an unfamiliar bed to Ed Harris tapping on the window. I put some shorts on and came out to the yard: it was bright out. Ed had a fistful of old GI Joe comic books and an open thing of cheap salsa. He was going on about something, about going somewhere to finish something. All I could think was: where are the chips? The thing about Ed is he has those eyes and his winning ways. You can never tell if he’s drunk or not. He’ll do something crazy and be sober as a lord. Or you’ll be driving with him or at the library or the courthouse and not realize a thing until you hear the -shhht of a beer opening. I can’t tell today. Why is Ed here? Suddenly Ed’s destination today becomes clearer; he’s talking about Switzerland, though for some reason, he wants/needs to make the journey by boat. “Ed,” I say “I gotta go to work today.” Which is a total lie because I’m not even really sure where I am. To make it seem realistic, I go over and pick up a newspaper lying in the driveway. It is an old shopping circular that is sopping wet, though I tuck it under my arm anyway to look like I am starting my day. Ed just laughs and gives me a half empty bucket of chicken, though instead of chicken there are the modified triggers and sears from a semi-automatic rifle, though it still smells like chicken. This makes me hungry. We say our goodbyes; Ed is still laughing, almost running in place. As I turn to go back in I remember: Ed and I did go partying. That was three days ago. I didn’t see him after the first night. I go back into the welcome dark of this messy home and notice, for the first time, a big guy sprawled out on the couch wearing what looks like Egyptian-themed maternity wear. I hope to go he’s not the reason I’m here. I go back to bed.

Later, I find the chips. They’re in my mailbox at home, long with a rubber boot and some sporty women’s underwear.

We are in a drugstore, ostensibly because Ed has a cold. Ed likes to try the remedies as he goes down the aisle. It is something of a tasting party. He dusts his tongue with Theraflu like it was Pixie Sticks. He keeps using the expression “worm”: “Worm up!”; “Worm to the Motherland”: “Where you at Worm?” My head is exploding from inhaling whatever gas Ed keeps in that mask and tank in the car. He spills a lot of Flintstones vitamins sorting through an economy sized jar of them looking for Dinos to bite the heads off. He slips and falls. He cries: “Willlll-mma! Get this cat offa me!” Eventually this leads to some intercession by the pharmacist. Ed pulls up to the window, like at a bar and says: “So, whatcha got?”

Ed is checking out some lingerie. “You know what I’m seeing?” he says “I’m seeing some itty bitty mosquitoes in that tent. You know what I mean.” He repeats this about five times. Until he finds a teddy and then starts saying: “This one, this one, this is for a big ol’ woman. This is for a bear woman. A big old woman with purple hair and a case of diet shasta sitting on top of a bean bag chair with is half-filled with weed from her mid-level dealer boyfriend who works at the Co-Op and makes banana bread but never cleans up.” Ed then sings an authentic Indian song he was taught at Columbia. “Hey pretty ladies,” calls Ed, “would you both like to model these for me?” “Ed,” I say, “we’re in Wal-Mart. That other woman is her mother.”

It is always a disaster going with Ed to a strip club, but the worst was the time he brought that snow shovel.

After we put out the fire in the car we had to sit there in the smoke and the piss because it was fucking freezing out with nothing but Drum to smoke and I wanted to cut my lips off. I tried to tell Ed: Ed I’m sick. Ed, I’m tired. Ed, I have grey hairs on my balls and I can’t do this anymore. I mean it’s been a scream, but I feel sick most of the time and I can’t keep the gyros down and I’m sick of Old Gold and brown phlegm and dirt and yelling and stealing so little and paying so much, and man, I love you man, but I’m dying, I’m dying and I just feel tired all the time and the shot of Jager isn’t making it and I don’t want to wake up in the morning; I hurt, I shake, only a little, but what the hell and Ed looks at me and he says do this, do this one shot with me: you are a Lord, feel your majesty, take your office and serve alongside me, robed in fleas and rags, blessed with vomit, stand alongside me, we, chosen for the blessing of mankind.

TURN #76: WEEK 62; WORDS: 66, 258